Nurse Invents App for Patients with a Left Ventricular Assist Device

In the early 90s, Dr. Jessie Casida was one of few nurses working on the first patient with a left ventricular assist device—a battery-powered device that pumps blood, surgically implanted into the heart of patients who have end-stage heart failure. If the patient is not a candidate for a transplant, they will have the device for the rest of their life.

Now imagine its 1995 and you’re given a paper manual and VCR videos with directions to set up a 2019 printer that will explode if you format it wrong. You have support you can call, and with time, can complete the task, but it’s complicated and stressful because if you make a mistake you could die. And that’s something like the status quo for patients with a left ventricular assist device.

It was this complicated self-management responsibility of the patient that inspired Casida to create VADcare App.

VADcare is a self-management tool for patients with the device. Its prompts them to maintain the device’s functionality, helps them manage their diet, wellness, and medication adherence, lets them evaluate and report abnormal signs, and helps prevent and report complications. The app also includes a system that automatically alerts the patient’s care team when necessary.

The app is still in clinical trial, but all the signs are very promising. An Australian team’s assessment revealed that the app is superior to all other existing self-management platforms for patients with a left ventricular assist device.

“The patients love the app, they don’t want to give it back when the trial is over,” Casida says. 

Casida is an associate professor at the Johns Hopkins School of Nursing.

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Located in Baltimore, the Johns Hopkins School of Nursing is a globally-recognized leader in nursing education, research, and practice. In U.S. News & World Report rankings, the school is No. 1 nationally for its graduate and DNP programs, No. 3 for online programs, and No. 2 for online MSN Health Systems Management options. In addition, the school is ranked by QS World University as the No. 4 nursing school in the world, No.1 by College Choice for its master’s program, and No. 1 by NursingSchoolHub.com for its DNP program. For more information, visit www.nursing.jhu.edu.

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